So it’s January 2013, and everyone is ready to get back in shape, get healthy, achieve some goals, and do things you didn’t do last year. We all jump on the inspiration for a new year and a clean slate to change habits, start over, try something new, forgive, move-on, re-evaluate, refocus, find hope, and make them all stick so that we can feel good about trying and succeeding on whatever we set our minds to.
Here’s my guide on how to make your changes stick in 2013.
- Put It Down on Paper- We all have tons of ideas, recipes, things to do, places to be, errands to run, things to accomplish, dreams to chase, and passions to pursue. There is no way to focus on just one without getting them down on paper. So put them in a journal, chalkboard, cork board, break them out into categories on different sheets of paper and go for them!
- Decide to do Something for Yourself- As humans we tend to focus on everyone but ourselves. Don’t you think 2013 is the best time to actually focus on something you’ve always wanted? It’s not being self-fish or abandoning your loved ones (believe me I feel guilty all the time!) Think of how much better of a parent, spouse, child, grand-parent, or friend you’ll be if you focus on yourself for once!
- Set Goals- This can be anything from going to the gym 4 days a week to cleaning out your pantry and buying only good for your foods. From saving up for the vacation of a lifetime to learning a new instrument. To putting yourself out there more, making new friends, discovering new things, or even to just start living your life.
- Put Your Health First- That old saying that keeps coming round… “without your health you have nothing,” is so true. If you’re chronically sick, laid up in bed, eating from every fast food joint in a 10 mile radius, overloaded on sugar and coffee, and laying awake at night so you don’t miss the “Late Late Show.” You’re bound to be sick, in pain, exhausted, miserable, and unable to function. Jump on the health wagon and start taking care of yourself-then you’ll be able to do anything you set your heart or mind to do!
- Reward Yourself- You’re making changes and seeing the results. You’re finally seeing a difference in yourself, health, family, and lifestyle. Now go reward yourself! Not to say go eat the biggest banana split you can gobble down. Splurge on that aerial yoga class you’ve been wanting to take, go out for a nice dinner with friends, take a mini trip for the weekend, or buy that new outfit that you’ve been eyeing up that now fits you and is 2 sizes smaller!
Sometimes we all take life way to seriously. We never slow down long enough to see all it has to offer us because we’re too busy running around in a fury! 2013 is a new year to start everything all over. Cook more, sit down with family and eat, rekindle those old friendships you miss, start something you’ve always wanted to, set goals to get to Switzerland to go skiing in 2020. Put your mind to something and go for it! You’ve got a clean slate and nothing but yourself to hold you back! Just a small change in your lifestyle and who knows you may change the world! “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” -George Elliot
It’s been said “what you put in, is what you get out.” I believe this whole-heartedly! If you take care of your body’s needs with good nurturing foods, exercise, adequate sleep, lots of water, rid your body of vices, (smoking, heavy drinking, stress) nurture your soul and truly take care of your mind, body, and soul, it will repair itself from disease, injury, illness, fatigue, malnutrition, and stress.
The body is an incredible machine. You just have to give it a chance. I’ve seen people reverse their diseases, repair injuries, lose excessive weight, fight chronic illness and cancer, and transform their health, lives, future just by what they put into their bodies. Not to say you have to become a radical 100% of the time and give up everything you love, brings your comfort, motivates you, or soothes and relaxes you.
With the holidays lurking around the corner and quickly approaching… our schedules begin to fill up and bog us down with stress and a long to do list. Kids activities, church functions, shopping, sending cards, parties, eating, drinking, did I say eating? We tend to load ourselves down with alcohol, lots of sugar, more coffee, and heavy and fatty foods as the holidays blow by us. We reach for the convenient and fast foods because that’s all we have time for. So here are a few tips on how to slow down, enjoy yourself, the food you’re consuming, and really take care of yourself over the next month so that the new year isn’t filled with regret and wonder on how the holidays flew by again and you never got a second to take a breath and actually stop and take them all in.
- Only eat sitting down with no distractions. That means turning off the tv, hiding the magazines, catalogs, and cell phones!
- Eat only till your 80% full. Eating till your so full and uncomfortable isn’t worth the misery.
- Chew your food! We tend to shovel our food down especially when we’re in a hurry. The slower you eat and chew your food, you trick your brain into thinking your full and you’ll eat less! Easy weight-loss plan!
- Moderation, moderation. Everything in moderation! As humans we tend to overdo everything. Eat wisely and choose the things you love to eat. Don’t just pile it on the plate because it’s in front of you.
- See how your food makes you feel. If eating a whole loaf of rosemary Ciabatta bread makes you feel bloated and not so hot afterwards (which it should!) Don’t eat it! If lots of sugar makes you sluggish, wheat makes you feel weighed down, or alcohol makes for a long recovery-avoid these!
- Learn to eat the good for you foods and save the sweets as a treat. You’re guaranteed to enjoy them more when you only consume them once in a while.
New years is right around the corner, where we concentrate on making changes and setting goals for ourselves and our health. Why not start early this year and not have such large and unattainable goals for the new year. We’ve stopped enjoying food and made it a race to see how quickly and how much we can consume. We’re scarfing it down so fast we’re not even tasting it. The purpose of food is to nourish our bodies, nurture our souls, spend time with family and share our days stories and laughs. We’re supposed to smell, taste, touch, savour, and be apart of our food. Some where we lost the meaning of food and now it’s become an epidemic. So spend the holidays enjoying yourselves, eat, drink and be merry but also be mindful and realize what’s important to yourself, your friends, and your loved ones. Take care of your bodies, your mind, and your souls this holiday season!
Herbs are such an important part of our health especially today with our hectic lifestyles. Most of us think they’re only good for flavoring our food but they have so much more to offer our bodies. They are chock-full of antioxidants and flavonoids. They help with weight management, allergies, heart disease, chronic illness, and help to heal the body. Replace sugar, salt, and added fats with dried or fresh herbs. And they are so easy to grow in your backyard, garden, and even small containers.
Rosemary- Rich in folic acid, Vitamin A, C, K. Rosemary reduces inflammation, it’s an anti-allergic, antifungal, and loaded with essential acids. Use rosemary in breads, teas, on fish and poultry, even make your own infused olive oils and vinegars.
Tumeric- An anti-inflammatory, detoxifier, and cancer preventor. Tumeric is great for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Add turmeric to salads, cooked vegetables, rice, stews, and chili.
Ginger- High in anti-oxidants, it’s an anti-inflammatory, and is also great for autoimmune diseases. Ginger helps with nausea and motion sickness. Perfect for pregnant mothers with morning sickness (or in my case 24-7 sickness-it worked wonders!) Add ginger to smoothies, salads, teas, and sauces.
Oregano- Full of antioxidants, omega-3s, iron, fiber, and vitamin K. It is also an antibacterial. Add oregano to sauces, pizzas, chicken, and seafood.
Simple and easy ways to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay strong and healthy, especially with the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the lurking cold and flu season. Make your food taste that much better and know that a little dash of oregano on Friday night’s pizza is going to do wonders for your total wellness.
November, American Diabetes Month, is dedicated to bringing awareness to the many issues surrounding diabetes. While there are many factors that contribute to the development of diabetes, adherence to the Western Pattern Diet is strongly associated with the development of the disease. Research has found that cultures that consumed a more primitive diet had a lower incidence of diabetes among their populations, however, when cultures switched from their native diets to western pattern diets, the rate of diabetes increased.
Obesity is one of the main risk factors for developing diabetes, so following healthy eating principles and practices has never been of greater importance than it is today, recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050 if we continue on the current trend. An estimated 79 million American adults and children are considered to have “pre-diabetes” and are at a high risk of developing diabetes. A 2002 study found that intensive lifestyle modification including a 7% reduction in weight and the adoption of a low-fat diet and 150 minutes of weekly moderate activity reduced the incidence of diabetes in those at greatest risk of developing the condition.
I recommend that everyone avoid processed foods, but this recommendation is especially important for those with diabetes or risk for developing it. Processed foods are often simple, concentrated carbohydrates, which supply calories but very little nutrition. A diet rich in whole foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains is a healthy focus for any nutritional plan, diabetics should also take into account the glycemic index (GI) and the glycemic load (GL) the foods they consume. The glycemic index of food is the numerical value that expresses the rise of blood sugar after eating that food, the glycemic load also considers the amount of carbohydrates contained in the food. For example, a bagel has the GL of 25, the GI of 72 and 35 grams of carbohydrates, while a cup of broccoli has the GL of 1.4, the GI of 20 and 7 grams of carbohydrates. Particular foods that have shown to have positive effects on blood sugar control include olives, nuts, artichokes, bitter melon, mangoes, and onions, all of these foods are high in fiber and low in GI and GL. Cinnamon has also shown promise in controlling blood sugar levels, but it is more important to focus on healthy living, reduction in weight and an increase in activity are still the most effective ways to avoid diabetes.
- 4 Diabetes Management Tips for Adults (epicahealth.com)
- Diabetes: Eating a Low Glycemic Diet (aahhomecarewithheart.wordpress.com)
- Diabetes Symptoms & Causes (answers.com)
- Glycemix Index: Pros and Cons – The Soy Connection – Health & Nutrition – United Soybean Board (soyconnection.com)
- Why We All Need A “Pre-Diabetes” Diet (news.health.com)
- High glycemic load diet linked to higher breast cancer risk (foodconsumer.org)
It’s Halloween! That means pumpkin season, pumpkin soup, pumpkin beer, pumpkin muffins, smoothies, pie, bread…the possibilities are endless! This time of year we decorate our houses with them, smoother our front porches, and stuff our faces with these fall favorites.
This year after you carve your pumpkin for the big night of trick or treating save your pumpkin seeds or “Pepitas” for a healthy snack when you’ve gotten sore teeth and an upset belly after all that candy. Pepitas are great for topping soups, salads or just snacking on them alone. They are loaded with antioxidants, amino acids, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are high in protein, good fat, and Vitamin E. They boost your mood, lower bad cholesterol, and help fight free-radicals.
As for all your pumpkins, although the pumpkins you carve aren’t edible you can find edible pumpkins at your local produces stands, farmers markets, and grocery stores. There is so many recipes out there it’s hard to choose just one. The benefits of pumpkins are endless. They are high in fiber, low in calories, loaded with vitamin A, and high in antioxidants. Pumpkins help improve your eye sight, boost your immune system, and fight cancer. They also help you to feel fuller and lose weight.
Ready to try a new recipe with Pepitas or Pumpkins? Check out my recipes for both!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we all here it all the time. Right? But why? Eating breakfast stabilizes your blood sugar for the day. Breakfast is just as it says breaking the fast from the night before. Studies show skipping breakfast makes weight control more difficult, it’s linked to obesity, you’re more likely to eat more at your next meal as well as snack on higher calorie snacks throughout the day.
I know breakfast is hard during the week, especially a bigger breakfast that takes more time prepare. Who has time when you’re half-dressed and pushing your sleepy-eyed kids out the door for school. It’s easier to stop at Starbucks for a latte and croissant or shove a sugary breakfast bar into your mouth leaving a trail of crumbs on your way out the door. So, as you enjoy your Saturday or Sunday morning this weekend. Enjoy a bigger, more filling, and healthier breakfast with my “Figgy Buckwheat Pancakes!” Figs are still in season so get them while you can!!
Here’s the quick low-down on buckwheat and figs. Buckwheat, despite its name is gluten-free and loaded with antioxidants, fiber, minerals, protein, and Vitamin E. Figs are great for people with diabetes, they are high in potassium to help control blood pressure and prevent cancer. They are full of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. They are one of my favorite things to eat because they are so sweet and you don’t have to feel guilty because they’re so good for you! So indulge and enjoy this delicious breakfast! Let me know how yours turn out!
- 8-10 ripe figs-cut into small pieces
- 1 C of buckwheat flour pancake mix
- 1 pasture-raised egg
- 3/4 C of almond milk
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- raw maple syrup or organic
Mix egg, buckwheat flour, milk and olive oil into a bowl. Heat pan with a little olive oil on medium heat. As the pan heats up pour mixture into pan. You can make smaller or large pancakes totally up to you. Smaller ones cook faster and easier to flip. As the pancake starts to bubble add figs, then flip until pancakes are fully cooked. Stack on your plate add some maple syrup and you’ll be in pure heaven!
Fried Green Tomatoes are one of my favorite things to eat! I just don’t eat them very often, first because no one does fried green tomatoes like the south and since I don’t get down as much as I would love to, I’m forced to eat Maryland ones. So here’s my healthier spin on fried green tomatoes. We just did it oven style with a Maryland twist! Forgot to take a picture of the remoulade sauce before my family gobbled them down! Hope you enjoy them as much as my family did! Let me know how yours turn out!
- 3-4 large green tomatoes
- 1 1/2c almond milk
- 1 c quinoa or wheat flour
- 2 c of Panko bread crumbs
- coconut oil vegetable spray
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp parsley (chopped finely)
- 1 1/2 Tbs of Old Bay-(crab seasoning)
- Large pinch of salt and pepper
- Arugula (optional)
- 1/3 c of olive oil mayo
- 1 Tbs whole grain mustard
- 1 Tbs cornichons
- 2 Tbs parsley
- 1 garlic clove mashed
- 1 tsp of capers
- 1 tsp of lemon juice
- 1 tsp of olive oil
This issue holds a special place in my heart. As a mama of two I know how important it is for our kids health and nutrition in today’s world. The month of September is devoted to fighting childhood obesity and taking back our kids health. Our children’s generation may be the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents! That’s scary and completely absurd! “Since 1980, childhood obesity has tripled! 1 in 3 kids fall within the overweight and obese category, and the numbers continue to increase,” reports Charity Sub. This epidemic leaves our children at risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bone and joint problems, teasing, bullying, low self-esteem, and social alienation.
It’s estimated only 2% of American children eat enough fruits and vegetables! 2%!!!!!That’s insane to me! Considering we are one of the richest countries with the most available food, but instead we continue to starve and deprive our children from the health and nutrition they deserve to live long, happy, and healthy lives. “Kids ages 8-18 spend 7.5 hours a day on entertainment media, including television, cell phones, computers, and video games. And of that time, 4.5 hours is spent watching tv,” says Charity Sub. What happened to the days when our parents kicked us out of the house to play outside until they called us home for dinner? Or what happened to all the sports and activities we drug our parents to day-in and day-out because we couldn’t miss a practice or a game? Now, only 4% of elementary schools have gym classes!
It’s not too late, as parents and adults we are responsible to nurture, care for, and give the children of today the right to live up to the best of their abilities, to be able to do whatever their hearts desire, to be able to chase every dream they’ve ever wanted, but instead we’re allowing something as simple as food and nutrition snatch that all away from them. We let fast food restaurants dictate what our kids should eat. Did you know that 50% of all advertisements promoting food and beverages are focused directly at children? No wonder we have an epidemic. They’re staring into the tv for hours on end and constantly being reminded that coolest new toy is inside their happy meal at McDonald’s!